The Master's Instructions about Himself. John 14-17.
It is a mystery that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is for ever One and yet for ever Three persons, without being divided. We cannot fully understand this nor effectively illustrate it. God refers to Himself in the Bible as plural, ‘Let us make man’ (Genesis 1:26). ‘Who will go for us?’ (Isaiah 6:8). Both the Hebrew and Greek languages permit the usage of
the word ‘one’ to mean a compound unity in a similar way. The Father is not the Son Who is not the Holy Spirit. Yet God is the Father, God is the Son and God is the Holy Spirit. There is one God Who reveals Himself as three persons. We cannot say they complete each other because they are individually complete. What is contradictory to our human intellect is quite straightforward to a Higher Intelligence.
In John 14:15-17 all the Trinity are mentioned. Jesus is introducing His
disciples to the Holy Spirit. He tells them that He is going to leave them,
but the Father is going to give them the Holy Spirit. We can learn many
things about the Holy Spirit from these chapters.
The Holy Spirit is a person
Although He gives power, He is a person. Jesus refers to ‘Him’ not ‘it’. The
word ‘another’ (14:16), means another of the same kind as Himself. You
will find the Holy Spirit is like Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit can be known by people
Those who would follow Christ will be filled with the Holy Spirit. The
crowd at large cannot accept Him, but the Christians cannot live without
The Holy Spirit is a teacher
He reminds us of the words of Jesus (14:26). He helps us to realise Who
God is (14:20; 15:26). He convicts the world of sin (16:8). He convinces
the conscience that some things are right while others are wrong (16:9-11).
He is a guide Who will always bring glory to God through Jesus Christ
Like any gift, the Holy Spirit has to be received. The Father gives Him to
be with us for ever (14:16). The Father sends Him to help us remember
everything Jesus did and said. The Son sends Him to testify about Jesus
as we ourselves tell what we know (15:26-27). If you are born of God
then God the Holy Spirit is given to you to help you live a Christian life
that pleases God. Real Christianity is living a spiritual life in the middle
of this very real world with all its temptations. It is not easy. It cannot
be done through human strength alone. It is essential that every
Christian comes to know the Holy Spirit. He equips the Christian to serve
in the Church and He enables the Christian to show Jesus Christ to the
world. The Bible says that He produces gifts and graces in the life of a
believer (1 Corinthians 12:7; Galatians 5:22-23).
The book of Acts shows what the Holy Spirit achieves through men and
women who are available to His ministry. In Romans 8 Paul appeals to you
to know the Holy Spirit in your own life. You can know His control over
your mind (v.6). You can know His way (v.14), His witness (v.16), His help
(v.26) and His heart (v27).
There is always something attractive about a mystery. Children love to
play pass the parcel and they eagerly feel the package to guess what is
inside. As each layer of paper is unwrapped more the contents are
revealed. Do not be put off by the mystery of the Trinity. Make it your
aim to know God in all His fullness while at the same time recognising He is
beyond your understanding.
Discussion guide on ‘God the Holy Spirit’.
Read John chapters 14-17.
1. John 15:8 should be seen as the aim of this book. Every Christian's
aim is shown here: how do we “show we are Jesus’ disciples”?
2. How many names for God the Holy Spirit and how many jobs that
He does can you find in these chapters? Perhaps you can make two
Names for God the Holy Spirit What God the Holy Spirit does
(I found 15 spread between both lists).
3. How do you know the Holy Spirit is a Person and not just a force or
4. Look these passages up and see how the Holy Spirit is referred to,
and that He has the qualities of God Himself:
2 Corinthians 13:14
1 Corinthians 2:10
2 Peter 1:21
5. Try to learn by heart Romans 8:16. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our
spirit that we are God’s children”. It is important for every
Christian to learn how to listen to the inner voice of God the Holy
Discuss how this can be done.